On Fox News, a humanitarian story about the illegal killing of an iconic lion in Africa keeps turning into a lecture about how we should really be hating Planned Parenthood more.
As Media Matters has documented, the widespread condemnation over the shocking killing of Cecil the Lion by Minnesota dentist Walter J. Palmer has been used by conservative media to push bogus attacks on Planned Parenthood.
Although Cecil was a living, breathing animal illegally killed for sport by Palmer, who paid at least $50,000 for the “privilege,” Fox can’t seem to talk about the story without lecturing us that we should be more outraged about Planned Parenthood getting legally reimbursed for costs associated with the procurement of fetal tissue, in accordance with federal law, for legal abortion patients who wish to donate the tissue for medical research.
Fox News is so obsessed with taking down Planned Parenthood – even though only 3% of its services go to abortion and 97% to other kinds of medical care – that the “news” organization has its outrage police patrolling the media and our national psyche to corral us into going along with its right-wing agenda.
Last night, Bill O’Reilly was so focused on the subject that he never got to his planned discussion about Donald Trump with media critic Bernard Goldberg. He blamed media "corruption" for preventing us from being as angry at Planned Parenthood as we are at Palmer.
O’Reilly displayed a graphic showing that the so-called “mainstream media” had devoted about three times as much coverage to Cecil as the Planned Parenthood sting. Goldberg, to his credit, argued that “ the opposite is true at Fox News.”
“It’s an important story,” O’Reilly insisted, “not an ideological play here, I don’t think.”
“It’s both,” Goldberg replied.
O’Reilly disagreed. “I know these people and I think it’s a split 50/50 down on abortion.”
Which may be true as far as their personal opinions, but what about the producers and Fox boss Roger Ailes? As Fox mole Joe Muto revealed, the content of every show is tightly controlled. Even O’Reilly, Muto wrote, “who had more juice than anyone, could only do so much.”
Media Matters caught Dana Loesch on The Kelly File and Judge Andrew Napolitano on Fox & Friends sounding like they were reading from the same script. On July 29, Loesch said, “I wish there was as much outrage over the Planned Parenthood stuff as there is over this.” Yesterday, Napolitano said, “I wish there was the same outrage in this country over the slaughter of the babies and sale of body parts that Planned Parenthood has been perpetrating.”
Today, on Outnumbered, cohost Stacey Dash complained, “It baffles me, it’s just infuriating that already we’ve got over a hundred thousand signatures on a petition about a lion that reached the president’s desk. Meanwhile, we are still trying to get petitions signed to close Planned Parenthood for murdering babies for baby parts. OK, what’s wrong with this country?”
But the outrage police may be widening their net.
Outnumbered cohost Melissa Francis made Cecil about Hillary Clinton. “When I read that there are a hundred and sixty thousand signatures on the White House website in order to react to this and I think about how, you know, we haven’t seen Hillary Clinton, all of her emails. We can’t get that server, the thumb drive,” Francis said.
Yeah, just the same.
Predictably, nobody mentioned any of the unarmed African Americans killed by the police.
Watch the outrage police on last night's The O'Reilly Factor and today's Outnumbered, below.